ode to a migraine


I woke to rain today. The cool air chased away yesterday’s heat, when a coloniser’s finger removed the pin from the safety clip of the grenade that lived inside my head. An explosion no one witnessed followed by rocks of my consciousness rolling downhill. Cut off in mid sentence, I forgot that I was telling you about a vagrant in an army jacket that liked to sit at a bus stop picking at his scabs. But he wasn’t picking at scabs that day, no, he was reading the paper. I peered over his shoulder which shook with repressed laughter and spied the cartoons page. Why does he laugh, I wondered, when he read nor spoke no English? Ah, another pretender, a man after my own soul; I too never let on. We are still having these conversations as if my brain hadn’t been blown out.

© listentothebabe

Art by Micrito LaNiñaPollo. A cheerful collaboration between fellow migraineurs.

About listentothebabe

writing is the teeth that gnaw on my bones.


  1. meganmilesauthor

    his shoulder shook with repressed laughter…great detail. Love this piece.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is really terrific. Did a migraine inspire this though? At least something good came of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Andy

    I think this is my favourite of all your pieces.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andy

      No. Actually, having read it four times, I am convinced it is my favourite piece of yours.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh dear then you must have seen the evolution it’s gone through. It’s appalling how much I edit post-publication…But thanks, you know where this comes from.


        • Andy

          No, missed the evolution. Is it now too polished? You’ve rightly accused me of that in the past. I’ve not noticed any alterations, so do you think your post-publications are for the better?


          • sometimes it just takes so damn long to hit the note you know? and i can’t fucking sing. really. i can’t carry a note. i’ve been told not to sing so many times i hum when i’m alone. i want to be reincarnated as a Black American blues singer in my next life… back to the goddamned poem about a migraine that exacerbated the migraine i was having, nah, it’s still the same, just small tweaks here and there, better choice of words, etc etc…how come i feel like i can talk to you? haha!

            Liked by 2 people

  4. I can’t imagine. I have a friend who gets migraines, crippling her for days. I don’t want to imagine. I’ve never had a headache. I don’t want to imagine that either. I love this line: “Ah, another pretender, a man after my own soul; I too never let on. ” I can relate to that well enough, though nothing to do with headaches.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes it punches black holes in your calendar. Imagine a migraine as a singularity and everything gets sucked in so there’s quite literally nothing that happens on those days. Except of course it’s not really a singularity and you are left with yourself and the pain, so there’s that… I’ve always had a soft spot for pretenders who know they are pretenders…


      • Ouch…black holes in a calendar…that’s gotta hurt. But a nice metaphor! Believers say “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” He knows I’m a wuss when it comes to pain.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I can really relate to this as a migraine sufferer. What a great piece😊

    Liked by 1 person

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